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First Financial Holdings, Inc. (FFCH): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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In today’s marketplace, there are many indicators market participants can use to monitor their holdings. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can outperform their index-focused peers by a superb amount (see just how much).

Equally as key, positive insider trading sentiment is a second way to look at the investments you’re interested in. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of motivations for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if “monkeys” understand where to look (learn more here).

First Financial Holdings, Inc.

Furthermore, let’s study the recent info surrounding First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFCH).

What does the smart money think about First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFCH)?

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 10 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -9% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

Out of the hedge funds we follow, AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, holds the biggest position in First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFCH). AQR Capital Management has a $12.5 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Jane Mendillo of Harvard Management Co, with a $5.2 million position; the fund has 0.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers with similar optimism include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Matt McLennan’s First Eagle Investment Management and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

How are insiders trading First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFCH)?

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time period, First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFCH) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also review the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFCH). These stocks are Provident New York Bancorp (NYSE:PBNY), United Financial Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBNK), HomeStreet Inc (NASDAQ:HMST), Clifton Savings Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSBK), and Rockville Financial Inc (NASDAQ:RCKB). All of these stocks are in the savings & loans industry and their market caps match FFCH’s market cap.

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